“Eclipse” by Stephenie Meyer

The time has come again, my friends, to speak of mythical things. Like vampire lovers, werewolf frenemies, and human failings in all things reasonable.

We open on a letter from Jacob to Bella, which is full of strike-throughs. Which I find implausible (wouldn’t he just start over on a new piece of paper?) but page 1 is not the place to start nitpicking a book like this. So let’s just say that Bella and Jacob are fighting because she’s decided to eventually be a vampire, and he’s involuntarily devoted his life to destroying vampires. Deal-breaker, ladies!

But we have bigger problems to deal with. People are dying in Seattle y’all. And Edward thinks they’re being turned into newborn vampires. Except they’re not tiny little adorable baby vampires; they’re super strong, blood thirsty, scary-ass vampires. But why would anyone do such a thing? And so close to where Bella and the Cullens live? It’s not like they’ve ever pissed off any other vampires by killing their soul mates when they tried to murder Bella in a ballet studio, right? It’s a MYSTERY!

Putting the vampire army aside for the moment, Edward decides the real danger is in letting Bella hang out with Jacob, and he forbids her from seeing him. He even goes so far as to have Alice kidnap Bella on a weekend when Edward can’t be there to physically restrain her, and hold Bella hostage in their house so she can’t go see her friend. What a loving, healthy relationship.

Of course she manages to sneak off and see Jacob anyway (they make up – phew!), and Edward is piiiiiissed, but eventually Edward realizes he’s being an asshole, so he lets Bella do whatever she wants. So, she spends some more time with Jacob. He even invites her to a tribal bonfire / council meeting, during which Bella hears a story about “The Third Wife” who sacrificed her own life in order to create a diversion long enough to distract a vampire so a werewolf could kill it. I am sure that has nothing to do with anything forthcoming.

Later, Jacob and Bella are just hanging out casually, when he up and professes his love for her, planting a kiss on her lips. The nerve! She punches him in the face, but only succeeds in breaking her knuckle, and Jacob learns nothing.

In the middle of this love triangle business, it becomes evident that the ingénue vampires are gaining in number, and headed toward Forks. Bella, being the brilliant deductive mind that she is, realizes this is Victoria coming to town to seek her revenge on Bells. Astounded by this shocking revelation, the Cullens and the werewolves join forces to defend their common interest – Bella.

Bella convinces Edward to stay with her during the fight, and Seth Clearwater (a junior werewolf) stay behind too so they can use his telepathy to keep tabs on the battle. And here is a sticking point – Bella had to guilt Edward into not leaving her behind to fight. So, if not for her selfishness, he would have left her alone? Knowing that a pack of vampires is coming to town, specifically looking for her and following her distinctive scent? Did NO ONE think that perhaps a vampire would sniff her out all alone in the woods and grab a tasty snack? Stupid.

Anyway, the melee ensues and the fur is flying when, predictably, Victoria catches wind of Bella and tracks her directly to her hideout with Edward and Seth. And she didn’t come alone – she brought a dude-friend to help her fight.

Edward and Seth each take a vampire and Bella stands by, watching in horror as her side seems to be losing. So she takes a shard of rock and, channeling the Third Wife, cuts her arm. I bet the Third Wife wished she thought of that before she committed suicide trying to do the exact same thing.

It works though, and Victoria is distracted long enough for Edward to rip an arm off of the dude and also deal the deathblow to Victoria. So the fight is basically over and nothing bad happened to Bella. Boo.

The Volturi show up then, for no reason, to check on things. They see Bella is still human, but don’t super care, so they leave again. Thanks for stopping by.

Now that all the danger is over, Bella and Edward can get to more important things. Like wedding planning! They’re getting hitched soon and Alice is going to plan the whole thing, so you know it’ll be swank. Can’t wait. THE END!

This book might be my least favorite of the three. Someone really should have died in the battle – we easily could have spared a wolf or two – but instead we end up pretty much exactly where we started, but down a villain. The whole “I love him, I love him not” thing with Jacob gets old and even though I feel sorry for Jacob I also think he could do better. On the bright side, we did get to learn why Rosalie is such a bitch all the time, so I guess we did gain something (SPOILER: it’s because she was raped when she was a human). All in all, I give it three stars. Image

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